November 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 2 November 2009
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Peacebuilding Commission

Expected Council Action
The Council will hold a debate on 25 November to consider the third annual report of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).

The PBC’s report on its third year of activities and outcomes was formally adopted by the PBC on 4 September and is due to be considered by both the Council and the General Assembly in late November. The report noted, among other things, that the PBC focused on the four countries already under consideration from the previous year—Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR), Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone—without new countries being added to its agenda.

The PBC is mandated by Council resolutions 1646 and General Assembly resolution 60/180 to report annually to both bodies. Thus its reports are simultaneously transmitted to both upon their adoption by the PBC Organisational Committee.

In May PBC members postponed from September to November the consideration of the PBC’s annual report in those two organs in order to align it with the new timeline for election of members of the PBC’s Organisational Committee in December. (Following an understanding reached among member states on 18 December 2008, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/63/145 indicating that the term for members of the Organisational Committee elected from the General Assembly shall begin on 1 January. The resolution also invited other UN organs with members on the Organisational Committee to adjust the term of office of their respective members accordingly.)

During considerations of the PBC’s reports in 2007 and 2008, the Council and the General Assembly timed their respective discussions to occur close together in order to retain interest and focus, with the General Assembly’s open debate preceding the Council meeting. (This year the General Assembly will consider the PBC’s third annual report on 20 November, while the Council will take it up on 25 November.)

Key Issues
Key issues for Council members include:

  • how the PBC and the Council’s work interact and relate to one another;
  • the growing recognition that there cannot be neat differentiation between peacekeeping and peacebuilding and the need for serious peacebuilding activities to start much earlier than has been the case in the past; and
  • coming up with suggestions by participants regarding the upcoming 2010 PBC mandate review requested by the PBC’s founding resolutions.

Council Dynamics
The PBC’s complementary role with the Council continued to develop during its third year. Regular interactions between the PBC’s chair and the Council president have been recurrent on overall policy development and on enhancing coherence in collaborative and complementary roles.

A further sign of the strengthening relationship between the PBC and the Council has been the continued regular briefings by the chairs of the country-specific configurations, especially when missions in the respective PBC agenda countries come up for review in the Council.

The increasing interface between work of the Council and the PBC has been further illustrated in the recent trend of the Council towards transforming UN missions in CAR, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, into integrated peacebuilding missions tasked with coordinating the peace consolidation activities of UN funds, agencies and programmes on the ground. All the integrated peacebuilding offices are also mandated to assist the PBC with the implementation of the PBC’s integrated peacebuilding strategic framework for each of the countries.

Council members seem likely to give some general steer, during the upcoming Council debate, on the approach on the upcoming 2010 PBC review.

Some members remain concerned that peacebuilding still lags by contrast with more high-profile conflict and crisis management tools, in terms of engaging the interest and resources of the UN. Others emphasise the need for greater coherence in peacebuilding efforts and note that this has been reflected in recent Council decisions. For instance, the penultimate paragraph of the Council’s presidential statement of 5 August on UN peacekeeping operations recognised the importance of introducing peacebuilding elements in peacekeeping operations before transfer to PBC.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1876 (26 June 2009) requested the Secretary-General to establish a UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) to succeed the current UN Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) beginning on 1 January 2010 for an initial period of 12 months.
  • S/RES/1829 (4 August 2008) established the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) to replace the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) for a period of one year with effect from 1 October 2008.
  • S/RES/1793 (21 December 2007) welcomed the adoption of the Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework for Sierra Leone by the PBC.
  • S/RES/1734 (22 December 2006) extended the mandate of the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone and encouraged the government of Sierra Leone to continue its close engagement with the PBC.
  • S/RES/1719 (25 October 2006) requested the Secretary-General to establish a UN Integrated Office in Burundi, which was requested to conduct its activities taking the role of the PBC into account.
  • S/RES/1646 (20 December 2005) decided that the five permanent members and two elected members of the Council will have seats on the PBC’s Organisational Committee.
  • S/RES/1645A/RES/60/180 (20 December 2005) created the PBC and the Peacebuilding Fund.

Selected Security Council Documents Related to the PBC

  • A/63/881-S/2009/304 (11 June 2009) was the report of the Secretary-General on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict.
  • A/63/799-S/2009/168 (6 January 2009) was a letter from the president of the Security Council informing the Secretary-General of the Council’s selection of Burkina Faso and Mexico as the two elected members of the Council to participate in the PBC Organisational Committee for a term of one year, until the end of 2009.
  • A/62/889-S/2008/419 (17 June 2008) was the letter from the chair of the PBC to the president of the Council informing him of the addition of CAR on the agenda of the Council.
  • A/62/864-S/2008/383 (30 May 2008) was the letter from the president of the Council to the chair of the PBC supporting the request by CAR to be placed on the agenda of the PBC and requesting advice and recommendations on the situation in the country.
  • A/62/768-S/2008/208 (25 March 2008) was the letter from chair of the PBC to the president of the Council providing advice on the peacebuilding priorities for Guinea-Bissau.
  • A/62/686-S/2008/87 (28 December 2007) was the letter from the chair of the PBC informing the president of the Council about the placement of Guinea-Bissau on the PBC’s agenda and taking note of the Council’s request for advice on the situation in the country.
  • S/2007/744 (11 December 2007) was the letter from the president of the Council to the chair of the PBC requesting advice on the peacebuilding priorities for Guinea-Bissau.
  • PBC/OC/1/2 (21 June 2006) was the request by the president of the Council to the PBC, via a letter to the Secretary-General, to advise on the situation in Burundi and Sierra Leone.

Selected Security Council Presidential Statements Referring to the PBC

  • S/PRST/2009/24 (5 August 2009) requested the Secretary-General to provide in his reports on specific missions an indication of progress towards achieving a coordinated UN approach in-country, and in particular on critical gaps to achieving peacebuilding objectives alongside the mission.
  • S/PRST/2009/23 (22 July 2009) emphasised the vital role of the UN in post-conflict peacebuilding.
  • S/PRST/2009/6 (9 April 2009) welcomed the convening of the presidential election in Guinea-Bissau for 28 June 2009 and urged credible polls.
  • S/PRST/2009/5 (7 April 2009) welcomed the recommendation of the Secretary-General to set up a UN integrated peacebuilding office in CAR.
  • S/PRST/2007/38 (19 October 2007) was a Council statement which took note of the letter from the prime minister of Guinea-Bissau requesting that his country be placed on the agenda of the PBC.
  • S/PRST/2007/3 (21 February 2007) requested the PBC to include consideration of security sector reform programmes in integrated peacebuilding strategies.
  • S/PRST/2006/38 (9 August 2006) on Peace Consolidation in West Africa underscored the importance and role of the PBC in assisting countries emerging from conflict to achieve sustainable peace and security.

PBC Annual Reports

Other Relevant Facts

PBC Organisational Committee Members (as of October 2008)

  • Security Council: the P5 (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US), Burkina Faso and Mexico.
  • From the top ten financial contributors: Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • From the top ten military and police contributors: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Nigeria and Pakistan.
  • ECOSOC: Algeria, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Luxembourg Morocco, Poland and Republic of Korea.
  • General Assembly: Benin, Chile, Georgia, Jamaica, South Africa, Thailand and Uruguay.

Chairman of the PBC Organisational Committee

Heraldo Muñoz (Chile)

Chairs of the PBC Country-Specific Configurations

  • Burundi: Peter Maurer (Switzerland)
  • CAR: Jan Grauls (Belgium)
  • Guinea-Bissau: Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (Brazil)
  • Sierra Leone: John McNee (Canada)


  • Judy Cheng Hopkins (Malaysia)

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